Woods Took Public Works To The Woods As Weeks Made It Weak: Can Gyude Moore Do More?


By D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh* (first published in several dailies in January 2015)

 Introduction

Legal Consultant of the Liberia Law Society, Liberia’s renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods, II
Former Public Works Minister Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods, II

Little known William Gyude Moore, Liberia’s new Public Works Minister-designate, has a stocky challenge if he passes through the scrutiny of the Senate. Little known? Yes, not much is known about him in public square. Moore’s challenge and measurement of his achievement will be bordered on doing more of either of his two immediate predecessors: Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods, II and Dr. Antoinette G. Weeks.

From Knuckles To Donzo

Whether Moore intends to do more or not in the infrastructure hot seat, his appointment represents one more change. It signals another regime, a new disposition, and a new-fangled epoch at the Ministry which represents the heart of the country’s infrastructure development agenda. Take it or leave it. Continue reading “Woods Took Public Works To The Woods As Weeks Made It Weak: Can Gyude Moore Do More?”

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Success Of Fighting Ebola Thru Community-Based Approach — The Story Of Gaye Dukpaye Community


By D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh

The Ebola outbreak

Irish humanitarian Mrs. Adrienne Blomberg-Sarwahpue (along with Mr. Sarwahpue, middle) donating hand washing buckets and other anti-Ebola materials to the Gaye Dukpaye Community last September as Chairman Benedict Bropleh looks on
Irish humanitarian Mrs. Adrienne Blomberg-Sarwahpue (along with Mr. Sarwahpue, middle) donating hand washing buckets and other anti-Ebola materials to the Gaye Dukpaye Community last September as Chairman Benedict Bropleh looks on

“In Gaye Dukpaye, we are not only on the alert, we will also keep engaging everyone that we have not won the war,” Shadrack S. Chea told me right before a big white barrel donated by CHAP International. The barrel contained diluted chlorinated water for passersby to wash their hands. It is part of measures the community has employed to fight the Ebola outbreak since last year. “Wash your hands; Ebola is still here; we need to fight it…” Continue reading “Success Of Fighting Ebola Thru Community-Based Approach — The Story Of Gaye Dukpaye Community”

Leading The Roads To Sinoe And Grand Kru For Independence Day: Can Gyude Moore Make The Challenge?


By D Kaihenneh Sengbeh/Freelance Journalist

Introduction

A deplorable scene on the Sinoe Highway (2013): FPA photo
A deplorable scene on the Sinoe Highway (2013): FPA photo

“We have resolved that the 26th celebration this year shall be in Greenville and Barclayville. And we will travel there by road,” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stated categorically and collected a huge applause from the audience. When the Liberian leader spoke these 22 words in her 2015 State of the Nation Address, she spoke with uncompromising confidence. Continue reading “Leading The Roads To Sinoe And Grand Kru For Independence Day: Can Gyude Moore Make The Challenge?”

Feature: Public Works Resurrects To Do The People’s Work: Is Gyude Moore Showing Early Footprints?


By D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh

Liberia’s New Public Works Minister Gyude Moore has begun showing signs that he might make progress in helping revamp the country’s public infrastructure
Liberia’s New Public Works Minister Gyude Moore has begun showing signs that he might make progress in helping revamp the country’s public infrastructure

“What kind of trouble is this?” he complained. “This is not time to fix roads; it should be done at night,” he menacingly added, though an opposed equal response would follow by a fellow passenger, a female. “People like you will never be satisfied,” a she countered. “When the people work, you vex; when they not work, you vex. Your give the people chance to do their work because we want good roads.”

Many Liberians in a around Monrovia, where road repair works are currently being done by the Ministry of Public Works are involved in heated exchanges like the above. One group of people argues that the Ministry needs to immediately respond to damaging roads across the city that are undermining free vehicular movements, while the other argues that it was inappropriate for the Ministry to “be fixing roads in the day” especially during rush hours. Continue reading “Feature: Public Works Resurrects To Do The People’s Work: Is Gyude Moore Showing Early Footprints?”

Reflections From The PUL Visitation With Ailing Journalists: Did We Learn Any Lesson?


By D Kaihenneh Sengbeh

PUL President K Abdullai Kamara listens to Paul Noring’s story of how he has been ill for more than seven years
PUL President K Abdullai Kamara listens to Paul Noring’s story of how he has been ill for more than seven years

He mustered courage and strength in his old ailing muscles and stood to greet and welcome the visiting team into his house. He had never before seen such a delegation of his professional colleagues at his house. He felt it was very appropriate to wake up and greet them.

“No, no, you don’t have to do that,” the head of the delegation advised empathically. “We understand your situation; just sit down.” The ailing old man returned to his sunken wooden seat, where he now spends bulk of his days—in a zinc shack house—listening to radio broadcast and following national issues.

As he looked at each member of the delegation, seeing familiar faces—people he had work with and covered news stories—tears oozed from his sickly eyes down his cheeks. I turned my face around, squeezed my eyes to stop any trace of my tears from rolling down, and continued taking my notes of the conversation—my job. Continue reading “Reflections From The PUL Visitation With Ailing Journalists: Did We Learn Any Lesson?”

International Anti-Corruption Day 2014 Speech By PUL Secretary General, D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh


Statement Delivered By PUL Secretary General, D Kaihenneh Sengbeh, at programs marking the International Anti-Corruption Day 2014, organized by the Liberian Youth Natural Resource Governance Forum
YMCA Conference Hall

December 9, 2014

I bring you professional greetings from the leadership and members of the Press Union of Liberia on whose authorities I stand before you.

PUL Secretary General, D Kaihenneh Sengbeh
PUL Secretary General, D Kaihenneh Sengbeh

The Press Union of Liberian is pleased to be invited to form part of this international observance against a terrible menace that has the propensity to stagnate the growth and development of any country and its people. I am speaking about corruption. Corruption is no stranger to Liberia. It is entrenched in our culture, in our homes, in the churches and mosques, in the schools, in our hospitals, in our bedrooms and in the blood veins of many of us. It is systemic, it is serious! Yes, even in the media, too.

It is even rampant among the politicians leading our country, the security sector including the immigration and the police. For example, between last Friday and Sunday, I saw acts that appeared to be corruption many times at the various police and immigration checkpoints along the Monrovia-Ganta Highway.  Before passing through, commercial drivers are asked to “Drop the Gate”, when they are not the ones who mounted those gates. You know what I mean by drop the gate! Those gatekeepers (our security men and women) are demanding monies from the commercial vehicles. Continue reading “International Anti-Corruption Day 2014 Speech By PUL Secretary General, D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh”

Licensing Journalists: A Panic Decision or an Act of Desperation?


By Peter Quaqua /12 October 2014

Introduction

WAJA President Peter Quaqua (far rights with colored shirt) joining Liberian journalist on observance of World Press Freedom Day 2014
WAJA President Peter Quaqua (far rights with colored shirt) joining Liberian journalist on observance of World Press Freedom Day 2014

I have been following the ongoing debate between the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and the Liberian government over the licensing of journalists in the country and I am obliged to share my thoughts with the hope of putting some issues into context and to “cool the temper.” Honestly I thought we could spare ourselves of all these ‘distractions’ to apply our combined energies and resources to the national Ebola fight and stop opening new frontiers because we are doing more harm than good to our country. So let me therefore beg the government to please keep this fight for another day if it feels strong about pursuing it. While advising however, I should give a hint of what to expect if and when the regime decides to proceed.

The Call for Journalists to lineup for Licensing

Could this be another panic decision or an act of desperation? On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, a release from the Liberia News Agency (LINA) quoted Deputy Information Minister Isaac Jackson as saying that journalists must seek annual permits from the Information Ministry, in accordance with Chapter 31.8 of the New Executive Law.         The PUL rightfully challenged the decision and called on journalists not to cooperate.

Throughout my practice as a journalist dating back to 1996, and my stewardship on the leadership of the Press Union, I was never confronted with this subject of licensing or registering journalists as it were. It is safe to suggest that previous regimes either knew it was a controversial issue or a potential minefield and did not venture in that terrain. Those regimes included the noted dictators of Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor. Continue reading “Licensing Journalists: A Panic Decision or an Act of Desperation?”